Volume 4



This issue of "Pinakotheke" is dedicated to the Biedermeier era of art.



picture Е. Плюшар.
Портрет актрисы Веры Васильевны Самойловой в костюме амазонки. середина 1840-х г.

picture Кувшин с "живописью цветов".
Императорский фарфоровый завод.
1830-е гг.

picture К. П. Брюллов.
Портрет аполлона Николаевича Мокрицкого. 1839 Собрание Мориса Борюша, Париж.

picture Стол с бисерной вышивкой.
1820-е гг.

picture Л. Ф. фон Райски.
Портрет девочки.
1850 г.

picture В. А. Тропинин.
Девушка с горшком роз. 1850 г.

picture Кошелек с композицией "Крестьянская пляска".
Россия, 1810-е гг.

picture И. А. Нечаев.
Портрет неизвестной. Частное собрание, Москва. 1847 г.




Dmitrii Sarab'ianov. A style without names and masterpieces.

The Academician analyses the Biedermeister style as a phenomenon of the history of European art. In describing the origin of this style, the source of its name and tracing its iconography, the author examines the artistic challenges encountered by the traditional national schools of Biedermeier in Germany and Austria, as well as the schools in Scandinavia and Russia (the term "Biedermeier" was not used in relation to Russian art for a long time). Sarab'ianov believes that Biedermeier was a forerunner to realism: the most important features of Biedermeier are love of objects and an interest in genre. He also notes that it contains the influence of Hegelian ideas of a harmonious, ideal Universum.

Nataliia Tolstaia. Negligent Biedermeier.

The art historian and employee of the Tret'iakov Gallery, considers the possibility of classifying the work of the "undefinable" Vasilii Tropinin, a Russian portrait artist from the first half of the XIX century, as Biedermeier. By highlighting the absence of objects and Tropinin's particular attention to individuality in his portraits, the author comes to the conclusion that there are elements of Biedermeier in the artist's work, alongside elements of classicism, romanticism and even critical realism.

Iuliia Volgina. Evgenii Pliushar: a short history of the life of an in-vogue portrait painter.

This art historian and specialist at the Moscow museum dedicated to "Vasilii Tropinin and Moscow artists who were his contemporaries" gives a detailed description of the life of Evgenii Pliushar, an all but forgotten Russian artist from the XIX century. Thanks to his portraits we have an image of many famous people and also of figures from the literary world and its circles in the middle of the last century - Karol Lipinsky, Auguste Montferrand, Faddei Bulgarin, Pauline Viardot and even the grandfather of the founder of the Tret'iakov Gallery, the prominent businessman, Danila Borisov.

Anatolii Kantor. Quiet garden.

This article from the well-known art historian, critic and member of the Association of Art Historians, looks at Scandinavian Biedermeier and, chiefly, the work of the Danish artists Cristen Koebke, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg and others. The author traces within their pictures the traditions of Dutch and Flemish masters at the end of the XVII-XVIII centuries. Beyond the narrowness of the subjects and themes, and the outward composure of Danish Biedermeier, Kantor detects a feeling of the "goodness of being" which is free from accidental detail and he considers the painting of this period to be one of the brightest pages in the history of Danish art.

Evgeniia Gavrilova. The Empress' blotting pad: The forgotten watercolours of Charlemagne, Greb, Shuetze and Montferrand.

Gavrilova's attention was attracted by a file of drawings which had been held in store in the Russian Museum for 65 years. Gavrilova, a specialist of the Museum, identified the album as having belonged personally to the Russian Empress Alexandra (1798-1860). The album was a gift from her son, Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovich, the future Tsar Nicholas I. Each leaf in the album is dedicated to a particular event in the life of the Empress: her wedding, the births of her children, the death of her father... Gavrilova also undertook a large amount of work in identifying the authorship of the watercolours. It turned out that they were painted not only by Auguste Montferran, but also by three other different artists. These rare items are not only an example of commissioned drawings in the Biedermeier era, but also a biographical source and document giving character to the personality of the Empress.

Raisa Kirsanova. Taste and fashion on the pages of "Girlianda".

"Girlianda" was a publication which existed between 1831-1832 and was based, like many magazines before it, on the format of European publications. However, this journal was very remarkable in the way it divided fashions; it discussed problems of taste, where one could learn not so much about fashion, but about another style of behaviour geared towards simplicity, being natural and convenience. Kirsanova, a doctor of art history and a specialist at the State Institute of Art History, is not simply drawing the reader's attention to this all-but-forgotten journal. She believes that this publication expressed the first assertion in Russia that wealth and taste were not one and the same thing, and that "Girlianda" generally helped to create a much more serious approach to fashion in our country.

Irina Efremova. The golden age of wallpaper.

Efremova holds a Master's degree in the history of art and is a senior specialist with the State Historical Museum. Here, she examines the history of the origins and use of wallpaper in Russia. Having first appeared in Europe in the XV century, wallpaper filtered through to Russia in the beginning of the XVIII century. The author refers to two periods of fashion concerning wallpaper and other forms of decorative paper: the end of the VXIII century and the 1820s-1830s. The article is illustrated with photographs of the unique interiors of Ostankino Palace (1792-1798), which still contain wallpapers in their original form.

Svetlana Deviatova. "As we can see, existence is like smoking a pipe..."

The specialist from the Moscow "Ostankino" Museum describes the history of Russia's relation to tobacco over the course of the XVIII and XIX centuries, and traces the changes in fashion of objects connected with its use - namely, snuff boxes, pipes, hookahs and tobacco pouches. The article is illustrated with reproductions of items from the stores of the "Ostankino" Museum, which have never before been published.

Nataliia Guseva. Russian furniture in the "Jacob style".

The article is dedicated to a peculiar phenomenon in Russian decorative art - "Jacob style" furniture. The author holds a Master's degree in art history, is a senior specialist at the State Hermitage Museum and a curator of the Furniture Fund. Following a short review of the bibliographical sources related to this subject, Guseva explains that the "Jacob style" was unusually popular over the course of the XIX century due to its similarity in style with XVIII century Russian furniture. The article also contains several recommendations on how to distinguish earlier items from those made almost a hundred years later.

Elena Dolgikh. Biedermeier in Russian glass-making.

Elena Dolgikh is a specialist and deputy director of research at the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts. Here she examines the specific features of Russian glass artwork in the Biedermeier style from the Mal'tsev’s and Orlov’s factories, and the Bakhmetev’s glassworks. The author believes that the unique nature of Russian glass in the second quarter of the XIX century stems from a combination of the Biedermeier style with a classicism in form and decoration.

Marianna Bubchikova. China from the era of Nicholas I.

Marianna Bubchikova is a senior specialist with the Department of Ceramics and Glass at the State Historical Museum. The article is about the everyday role of china in the times of Nicholas I - "painted china". The list of subjects depicted on china is unusually long - there were even copies of pictures from the Hermitage and graphic prints. However, the preference for certain themes and changes in taste for items of china were secondary to the fact that china remained a symbol of family prosperity over the first half of the XIX century.



Ekaterina Pavlova. "He sits in his dressing gown in front of the fire leaning on his elbows".

The author holds a Master's degree in art history and is head of the fine art stores at the State Pushkin Museum. Pavlova attributes a portrait of Aleksei Davydov (1809) to the famous Russian artist and romanticist, Orest Kiprenskogoiz. The painting is held in the Museum's collection. The author stresses the role of the "informal" portrait - a portrayal of someone in an intimate setting, often in household attire. In a certain sense, the dressing-gown became a symbol of a free, creative individual in 19th century Russian painting.

Private collections

Biedermeier in private collections.

"Pinakotheke" presents the best and most typical works of art usually connected with the Biedermeier period: watercolours for the chamber and miniature portraits; urban landscapes; embroidery; china from private factories; coloured glass and rare examples of genre painting from the years 1815-1850 belonging to private Russian collections.


Photographs of the most interesting pieces to be found on the Moscow and St. Petersburg antique markets (winter - spring 1998)


Elena Iurova. Embroidery within Russian Biedermeier

The author is a member of the International Art Foundation, holder of a Master's degree in physics and mathematics, and author of Ancient Russian Works from Glass Beads. Having studied the literary sources and surviving historical items, Iurova makes the conclusion that embroidery must have flourished in Russia between 1810 and the 1840s. The article is illustrated with reproductions of works from private collections, most of which are being published for the first time.

Elena Iurova. A table with glass-bead embroidery.

Thee author has succeeded in recreating a detailed history of a unique historical work of glass-bead embroidery - a table embroidered with a circle of glass beads. This table, embroidered for Princess Sof'ia Zasekinaia at the end of the 1820s, is considered to be not only an outstanding testimony to its era, but also a model article by which the attribution of other similar items are evaluated.



A review of art exhibitions at the end of 1997


A review of art publications during 1997


A review of the most interesting commercial events and sales on Russian and foreign antiques markets, including the Moscow art fair "Art - Moskva" and the IV Antique Salon at the Central Home of the Artist in spring 1998.


Announcements of art fairs, art auctions and exhibitions in Russian and abroad.


Travel chronicles

Olga Postnikova. Vienna: "...this century and last century".

Olga Postnikova, art historian and employee of Vienna University gives a detailed description of the old architectural monuments and museums of Austria's capital.

Sof'ia Pokrovskaia & A. Rondo. The comfortable XX century.

The authors share with the reader their impressions gained on a short visit to Vienna.

The Criminal Chronicles

Elena Skvortsova. The first Federal Loss Register of Valuable Cultural Objects in Russia has to operate without information from the Interior Ministry.

Skvortsova is a journalist and columnist for Obshchaia gazeta. In this article, she informs us about the creation of the Russian Federal Register, into which all works of art stolen from museums and private collections will be entered. She also focuses on the difficulties involved in the exchange of information between various bureaucratic departments.


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